Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic States. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, as well as a maritime border to the west and northwest alongside Sweden. Latvia has an estimated population of 2.0 million people as of 2015 and a territory of 64,589 km2.
Latvia is a democratic parliamentary republic established in 1918. The capital city is Riga, the European Capital of Culture 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 118 administrative divisions, of which 109 are municipalities and 9 are cities.
Latvia is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life and a very high standard of living. Latvia is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OSCE and WTO. It is currently in the accession process for joining the OECD.
Latvia is a very green country. Forests constitute around 50% of Latvia’s territory and therefore wood industry and export of wood products make an important share of Latvia’s economy. Export of wood products with high value added is gradually increasing. Latvia’s greenness is also visible in its organic agriculture. Number of organic farms and production is gradually growing. In 2014 around 11% of agricultural land was certified for organic agriculture. The most cultivated organic products are cereals and organic milk. Moreover, these two sectors of agriculture – cereals and dairy products – constitute two major pillars of Latvia’s exports of agricultural products. In 2015 cereals and dairy sectors made 30% of Latvia’s total exports of agricultural products. Furthermore, in 2015 the share of the agri-food (18,4% of total exports value), wood and wood products (16,9% of total exports value) exports in total Latvia’s exports was 35%, and these are the most important groups of exported goods which are behind of the machinery and mechanical appliances and electrical equipment (18,6% of total exports value) only insignificantly.
Latvia is an active member of the EU and participant in the Common Agricultural Policy.